These Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars are crunchy peanut butter perfection, and you only need FIVE ingredients to make them! These gluten-free and vegan crispy bars are sure to satisfy your chocolate peanut butter cravings.
Have you ever had a Scotcharoo? They were never a staple in my family, but I remember all of my friends making them when I was a kid, and helping my friends make them during sleepovers we were preteens. They were sooo good, but so unhealthy. Even my preteen-self knew that much.
They’re essentially a combo of corn syrup, white sugar, peanut butter, rice crispy cereal, butterscotch chips, and chocolate chips. Sounds healthy, right?
Recently, I was talking about Scotcharoos with Jesse and asked if he had ever had one. He hadn’t, and I realized this was a perfect opportunity for me to take an old fave and make it a little more guiltless. Don’t worry – there’s not a drop of corn syrup in sight here!
These No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars are a healthier version of the old fave, and they’re made SO simply – just five ingredients needed! They can be on your table within 45 minutes to an hour of when you start…and most of that is just time waiting for them to set up.
No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars!
To make the crispy, peanut buttery base, you’ll need puffed rice cereal, peanut butter, maple syrup, and coconut oil. A little salt too, if your peanut butter is unsalted. I used a gluten-free puffed brown rice cereal, so make sure you seek out a gluten-free puffed rice cereal if that’s a necessity for you.
If you’re not a peanut butter person, you can totally use another nut butter here too! Almond butter or cashew butter would be delicious. Honey could also probably substitute for the maple syrup – I haven’t tried it though, so no guarantees. I wouldn’t switch out the coconut oil for another oil though since it helps the bars firm up and hold together.
The liquid ingredients are boiled together for a few minutes and then mixed with the crispy rice cereal to form the base. After it’s pressed into the pan and left to set, dark chocolate and peanut butter are melted together and then slathered all over the top.
To garnish, I topped with chopped roasted peanuts and flaky sea salt. If you’ve been around here for a minute, you know I LOVE a bit of flaky sea salt on top of my desserts, especially the chocolate ones. If you’re not into it though, skip it – no harm, no foul.
I brought these no-bake chocolate peanut butter crispy bars over to my aunt’s house when we were celebrating my cousin’s birthday and they were half-devoured before we even cut the cake! Safe to say, they were a hit. The crispy peanut butter base is crunchy perfection, and the chocolate stays super smooth and ganache-like thanks to the peanut butter in there.
These are heaven for me and my fellow chocolate peanut butter lovers! If you’re one of us, I certainly hope you’ll give these a try :) enjoy!
Remember to #bakerita if you try the recipe!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
For the chocolate topping
- 6 oz. dark chocolate chopped
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- ¼ cup chopped roasted peanuts
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- Line an 8x8” square baking pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Place the puffed brown rice cereal in a large mixing bowl.
- In a small saucepan, combine the peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, and salt if using, over medium-low heat. Whisk to incorporate and melt the coconut oil, and then bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and let bubble for 3 minutes, whisking the whole time.
- After 3 minutes, remove from the heat and pour over the brown rice cereal. Stir to combine completely, making sure to coat all of the cereal.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and use your hand or a spatula to press the bars down firmly. Set aside to let them firm up.
- While the bars firm up, place the chopped dark chocolate and peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 seconds increments, stirring between each, until it’s smooth and melted.
- Spread the chocolate over the peanut butter crispy bars. If using, garnish with peanuts and flaky sea salt.
- Let firm up in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before cutting into 16 squares. Store in the refrigerator.